Vatican City State Goes Online

VATICAN CITY, JULY 18, 2007 ( Pilgrims and tourists can now visit the Vatican virtually, by way of Vatican City State’s new Internet site.

The new site is designed to complement the already-existing Vatican Web page.

A communiqué announcing the launching of the new site explained that the initiative arose in response to the “ever more numerous pilgrims and tourists in the Vatican and the continuous requests for information that arrive to the state offices by way of traditional channels.”

The new site is available in five languages — English, Spanish, Italian, French, German — and will soon launch its Portuguese version.

It includes five sections: “State and Government,” “Services,” “Other institutions,” “Monuments” and “Shop.”

The site features other elements, including a Web cam, which offers a real-time look at St. Peter’s Square, the tomb of Pope John Paul II and other Vatican sites, and photo galleries that include a tour of the Vatican Gardens, Castel Gandolfo and a display of actual and historical papal automobiles.

“In the future,” the communiqué continued, the site will also offer “the possibility to buy Vatican seals” and “articles and reprints from the Vatican Museums.”

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